Bruno Fernandes scores a free-kick against Liverpool.

Bruno explains the planning behind his free-kick

Sunday 24 January 2021 21:28

Bruno Fernandes’ match-winning free-kick against Liverpool on Sunday may have looked quite routine for our no.18, but the Manchester United attacker has explained there were a number of contributing factors that led to that decisive strike.

Fernandes stepped up on 78 minutes with the scores tied at 2-2 and superbly curled a free-kick round the Liverpool wall and past Alisson in the away goal.

That free-kick ensured we overcame our old foes and progressed to the fifth round of the FA Cup, following a dramatic, tense and entertaining afternoon at Old Trafford.

Speaking after the match, Bruno revealed the euphoria felt by United fans across the globe was down to hours and hours of hard work on the training ground.
Bruno: I was confident stepping up Video

Bruno: I was confident stepping up

Match-winner Fernandes discusses free-kicks, form and giving the fans a victory to savour...

“I think almost every day,” Fernandes responded to MUTV’s Stewart Gardner, when asked if he’d been practising free-kicks. “Sometimes he [Ole Gunnar Solskjaer] has to kick me out of the training to stop.

“I’m always working on that kind of situation. I like to watch and learn from Juan [Mata] because I think he is a really good specialist. I think in training we stay there most of the time - me and Juan stay longer, but also Alex [Telles], Rashy [Marcus Rashford], Fred also stays with us.”

But it wasn’t just the extra sessions that led to the late winner against Liverpool; a piece of advice from Edinson Cavani moments before striking the ball also played a big part.

“Edi before the free-kick told me: ‘try a hard one on the side of the keeper’. I tried it and it went in well,” Bruno said in a separate interview with BBC Sport.
Despite Bruno working on his technique of late, he explained it wasn’t a forgone conclusion he’d take the set-piece.

“No, no! I think normally a little bit more long distance is for Rashy. I think he feels more comfortable [from there], for me it is the same, to go the [closer] distance. I think closer to the box is better for me, for the kind of shot I have,” said the Portuguese international.

“Of course, if Juan and Alex are on the pitch it’s a chance for them, more on the right side. I think we have good free-kick specialists. I think we have some players who can take [good free-kicks]. It will depend on the moment. In that moment, I felt I was confident to take the free-kick. It was me and luckily it was a goal.

“I think with this result, with a goal in the last minutes, it would be really good. I think the fans would love it,” he added.
It was a rare start on the bench for Bruno on Sunday and, while watching from the sidelines isn’t his preferred choice, he felt the action on display was of a superb standard.

“I think the first half was really good,” he said. “It was a really good game for both parts. I think [it was a] very good game to watch. Two teams trying to win, playing good football, good pressure from both sides, quality from both sides. I think for the ones that are watching at home, it was a good game.”